It's always great to see lots of Clown anemonefishes! They were happily living in Giant carpet anemones that dotted this sandy, seagrassy part of natural Pulau Semakau.
Among the special finds today, were Masked burrowing crabs. We saw many out and about. I saw this one clinging to and clambering actively on a Tape seagrass blade. Kok Sheng saw lots more!
whelk that has yet to be identified, and which our local snail experts are interesting in having a closer look at.
Sargassum seaweed blade. Chay Hoon found one too yesterday. We may have been exploring Singapore's shores for years, but we still keep finding things that we have not seen before!
Pink moon snail. I first saw this snail on Pulau Semakau when we were training volunteer guides for the first of the shore walks at Pulau Semakau!
Upsidedown jellyfishes. The jellyfish harbours microscopic, single-celled algae (called zooxanthellae) inside its body. The algae undergo photosynthesis to produce food from sunlight. The food produced is shared with the jellyfish, which in return provides the algae with shelter and minerals. It is the algae which gives the jellyfish its colours. Because it relies on photosynthesis, the jellyfish tends to be found in shallow waters.
Common sea stars and Garlic bread sea cucumbers in the sandy and seagrassy areas.
Durian sea cucumbers which are actually quite well camouflaged among the rubble.
Reef octopus is superbly camouflaged and I only spotted this one when it moved.
Worm eel. But a closer look and it looks like a young Snake-eel! The rest of the team also spotted a Dog-faced water snake and a Banded file snake.
Tape seagrasses, there were also large patches with very long healthy Tape seagrasses. There were also thick growths of other seagrasses like Needle seagrass (broad blades), Sickle seagrass and Noodle seagrass.
On the Tape seagrass is this tiny Seagrass sea hare which blends perfectly on the seagrass blade. The sea hare is translucent and even has white stripes to match the seagrass.
Seagrass sea anemones settling on the Tape seagrasses.
Alas, some patches of seagrasses were covered in scummy growths.
Cauliflower corals that are usually the first to bleach. The Sargassum seaweed is starting its annual 'bloom' whereupon they will carpet large areas of the reefs. This makes it hard to explore the reefs safely, but also provide shade for the corals and may help them keep cool.
There were also a few small to medium sized Haddon's carpet anemones. This one seems to be starting to bleach in the middle.
Fire anemones and they both looked alright.
There were also many different kinds of colourful sponges. But I didn't manage to find any nudibranchs.
We were fortunate to have a clear sky and explored the shores under a bright full moon. Eventually, we also enjoyed a gorgeous moon set. Jerome and Juria probably took great photos of this so I shall just burn the blurry photos I took of it.
SG Sea Drone facebook page for the photos and videos!
While we didn't see a freshly laid net, we did come across a small section of rolled up old net that is already heavily encrusted with marine life. So we left it there. This net looks very much like the one we saw on our last visit here one year ago in Aug 2013. Sigh.
NEA plans to limit the damage to natural shores during the construction work for this expansion of the landfill.
Among the threats to the Southern shores of Pulau Semakau is the large fish farm locate very close to the shore. More about it in this separate post.
Posts by others on this trip